I decided to keep a list of movies I watched in 2011 in order to show myself how much time I waste watching movies. Sadly, all I proved to myself is how much I love watching movies. This list represents a considerable financial commitment, but a much more severe time commitment. At least I can say I got my money’s worth out of Netflix.
So, here is my list complete with grades and reviews for movies I saw in the theater, and a few things from late 2o10.
In the Theaters:
True Grit: Best line of the year: “I do not care for guns. If I did I would have one that worked properly.” Best Long Johns of the year: Rooster Cogburn. Best Legal Negotiation Scene of the year: Mattie Ross verses Beleaguered Western Businessman. Best awkward wakeup scene: Hailee Steinfeld and Matt Damon. Best Loveable Tool Role of the year: LaBoeuf. Best Finger Chopping Scene of the year…need I go on? This movie is the best thing the Coen Bros have yet produced. And that is a high bar of weirdly awesome stuff. Best film that did not get an Oscar for Best Film of the Year. A+
The King’s Speech: This movie deserves a slow clap that rises to a crescendo. It deserved all but one of the Oscars it won. (See above). Colin in a 3 piece suite, Geoffrey not in a plumed pirate hat, and Helena Bonham Carter not dressed solely in black. Good on you, Tom Hooper. I loved the scenes of King Colin fixing his Anointed of God Death-Stare at Hitler. Everyone loves that. Award: Best use of the F-word, seriously warranted in a movie about language. I am not offended. Best Reason to Entirely Give Up Taking Advice from the MPAA. A+
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, part 2: I am quivery just thinking about how epic this finale was. I breathed a big sigh of relief that we made it through the HP movies without losing more than one precious relic of Motion Picture fame. (That’s two thumbs up for you Maggie Smith. Way to last! Sorry about that, Richard Harris.) All the reasons I love Harry Potter cannot be summed up here, but the reason I love David Yates’ directing of the films is that he shows the proper balance of light and dark and creativity and adherence to the mythology. I really appreciate that. And I’m glad it’s over. A
The Muppet Movie: While I have long respected the Muppets, and Jim Henson studios more particularly, I have always been rubbed the wrong way by Muppet movies. Until now. This movie perfectly blended nostalgia, star power, popular culture, and wide-eye optimism. I couldn’t have asked for more. I will say, I think Miss Piggy is a fool. I get that she loves Kermit, but girl, it’s never gonna work! He is a totally Kermitment–phobic (see what I did there). You’ve got a lot going for you, Pigsy. Time to move on. Best Spontaneous City-Wide Dance Sequence. (Previously awarded to 500 Days of Summer.) A
Super 8: Have a mentioned that I am personal friend of Reily Griffiths, the Jerry O’Connell of this movie? Yeah, I’ve known him since he was 10. I’ve hugged the body that has hugged the body of JJ Abrams and Steven Spielberg. Putting that personal note aside, this movie was SuperCharming. Even though I don’t like ET or the Goonies as much as most people seem to think I should, they are still part of my childhood and I loved the throwback feel of this film. I also love the very underrated Kyle Chandler. Best Credits of the Year. A-
Hugo: What do you get when you blend a great adaptation of a great children’s book about cinematic history, charming story-telling by Scorsese, with Ben Kingsly, and a heartbreakingly blue-eyed boy? A film called Hugo that didn’t need 3D. Aside from annoying eye glare and fuzzy edges the movie was a definite winner. Asa Butterfield with his lady-killers always half brimmed? Sigh! I loved and wanted more silent film sequences, but really felt there was a good balance in the stories of the broken boy, broken man, and broken machine. Best use of The Smashing Pumpkins ‘Tonight’ video footage…oh wait. How about, Best at really making me excited to see the new silent film ‘The Artist.’ A-
The Help: Viola Davis. I love you. I get the controversy over this film’s source. Why hadn’t a black woman already written this story? I would have loved it so much more if she had. Maybe she did, but couldn’t get it published. I don’t know. Alas we are stuck with the musings of a white girl who also experienced her side of the story almost first hand. (I mean the author Kathryn Stockett, who grew up with a maid like Constantine.) All I am is glad that the story got told. Bryce Dallas Howards was so wonderfully bitchy. I adored her, but not as much as Viola Davis. Could have done without that final ‘long road’ shot though. Moving on. A-
Moneyball: I hate sports movies, except for Rudy. Luckily this was not a sports movie (neither is Rudy). Mostly I liked the fact that this movie showed two sides of Brad: the d-bag side, which I think is mostly his real side, and his insecure side, which I think is the real complimentary side of most d-bags. I’m such a sucker for Aaron Sorkin. Also those scenes with the old crotchety management team, superb. A-
17 Miracles: I was very skeptical. Very. Everyone said “It will make you cry.” And I was like “Whatever. Your emotional manipulation isn’t going to spiritually move me.” But it did. Way. I sobbed. A lot. I loved the cinematography, the writing, the performances. And the story telling was beyond solid, which is SO great to see in an LDS film. I loved that the film showed the leaders of the church as men, fallible men, without discrediting the grace of God over the members of the church. A-
Jane Eyre: During this week I saw two Michael Fassbender movies, and it was good. I think I loved him more as Magneto. I have just seen too many dark, rugged, super sexy Rochesters to have this blondie compare. Mia Wasikwhosit may just have been the very best Jane since Anna Paquin. Best Beard of the Year. B+
X-Men, First Class: This was First Class fun! I think it was a terrible use of a pun title. I like puns more than the next person, but not when you’ve got a movie with that stellar of a Hugh Jackman cameo. Come on. Otherwise I loved James McAvoy (he’s my replacement for Paul Bettney as under-dog-go-to-British-guy actor…I hope he doesn’t fall into a bottomless pit of creepy-guy religious roles) and Jennifer Lawrence.* B+
*JLar is winning the award for my new favorite actress this year, and I am pumped up kicks about her in The Hunger Games! A+
Footloose: Good times. This was a great choice for a girl’s night of watch slightly slutty things happen on the big screen. Just dirty enough to be a good time. And I am a sucker for sweet dance moves, with or without that kid who isn’t Kevin Bacon1. B
Captain America: You can’t hate this if you have any form of a heart. I was genuinely upset when the BF tumbled to a freefalling death. And Hugo Weaving looking all ‘ewww.’ Award: Best Use of Stanley Tucci, short form…not counting the Hunger Games trailer. B
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Fountain of Youth or Something: Cpts. Johnny Sparrow and Jeff Barbosa are at it again, and they’ve added really cool mermaids. This was enough to get me excited. Best opportunity for me to vote with my wallet to return 3D back to the pit it came from. B-
Anonymous: A charming-until-it-gets-disgusting conjecture on Shakespeare’s authorship. Oh Puleez. Shame on you Derek Jacoby. You owe Shakespeare more than this. I am ashamed for you. I am blaming this on whoever let all these people with too many vowles in their last names get together and make a script. Ifans, Thewlis, Emmerich, Orloff. That’s a lot of Old English in one place. Clearly too much. C+
Thor: Hot dude lost his hammer. His skeezy little brother is an…alien-demon-bastard? Both? Neither? Was that the black Swan? Kenneth Branagh? What has happened to you, and how did you get Mario’s Rainbow Road in this movie? Oh, who cares, back to Hemsworths abs. Best Abs C+
Red Riding Hood: So little happened here, and yet so much of it was wrong. There was no redeeming plot. The visuals were cool, but inconsistent. It was fun…no. It wasn’t. It was almost scene for scene like the first Twilight movie, which makes disappointing amount of sense since they share a director in Kathleen Hardwick, but laughable bad acting that movie had going for it. This one actually had decent actors doing their damnedest not to get laughed at. Which was too bad, really. Best Actor Channeling a former Role: Colonel Tigh from Battle Star Galactica can almost be heard muttering “Frakin’ Werewolf!” D
Breaking Dawn, part 1: So little happened here, and yet ALL OF IT WAS WRONG. At least K-Stew died in the end! Spoiler Alert! It was pretty amazing to see the terrifying miracle of her actually getting skinnier. I just…can’t believe… there will be a part 2. Even the actors, who are making millions, look terrifyingly bored during the movie. Best Worst Moment: Jacob falls, literally-on his knees, in love with an infant. D-
Other Movies I Saw by Category:
Romantic Period Pieces:
Wuthering Heights: A (Masterpiece Theatre)
Mansfied Park: A-
Lady Jane: A- Helena and Cary Elwis, yes!
The Last of the Mohicans: B+, but I should have paid better attention
Mary Queen of Scots: B
Moll Flanders: B made me want to read the book
Elizabeth, the golden age: B-
Princess Kaiulani: C, I want Mel Larsen to remake this
The Color of Paradise: A , Like a kick in the chest
Ponyo A, Thanks, Liam Nison
Mega Mind: B+ Melancholy, as it should be.
Despicable Me: B
The Baby Sitter’s Club: B, Most shockingly good movie view of the year.
Gnomeo and Juliet: B, Better use of Shakespeare references than Anonymous
Coraline: B You are freaking me out!
Howl’s Moving Castel: B So close to good, and yet…
Nanny McPhee Returns: B-, mostly you lost me at Returns
Castle in the Sky: B-. wait? Was this a separate movie from Howl’s Moving Castle?
Percy Jackson: The Lightening Thief C-. I HATE kid pandering.
Ms Pettigrew Lives for a Day: A+, so much to love!
Music and Lyrics: A This is HughGs and DrewBs finest work.
Date Night: A- Tina and Steve, I’d like to see more of you together.
Fever Pitch: A- Clever
Bridget Jones’s Diary: B I watched this the night I broke off my engagement. It was a snotty messy.
LA Story: B-, so much 90’s
Spanglish: B-, this might be in the wrong category.
Roxanne: C, It’s sad to see something with so much potential just fall apart.
The Proposal: D. and that’s not a smiley face.
Biographical/Based on a True Story:
Temple Grandin: A+. Must See!
127 Hours: A, A must see, except for the part where you need to cover your eyes.
The Social Network: A, Sorkin, you saucy minx..
Shine: A- I waited years to see thing, and it was worth it.
Eat Pray Love: A-, Beautiful.
Shindler’s List: B+. Major points lost during the credits.
Defiance: B, Robin Hood with a sad ending.
Shadowlands: B, This was the old BBC version, and not what I meant to be watching.
DeLovely: C, somehow I DeDont believe this is all accurate. Great Soundtrack.
V for Vendetta: B+, you could have been great, without Natalie
The Island: B
The Scorpion King: D,
I Am Number Four: D-
Critically Acclaimed/ Hard to Market:
Shall We Dance (Japanese): A
Company: A-, Not a good choice on a lonely night.
Everything is Illuminated: A-, Beautiful and funny, and hard to understand.
An Education: A, what really happens when dreams turn to reality.
Bridesmaids: B+ Crass, but hurray! Real women doing real stuff!
3:10 to Yuma: B+ Russel and Christian, that was fine, but I expected more from you.
Children of Men: B+
Dirty Dancing: A- Jerry Orbach!!!
Run Lola Run: B+, It didn’t quite top 13 years of expectations
Do The Right Thing: B+ WOW. Never again.
Richard III: B+ Ian McKellen, better on stage.
Sweet Land: B
The Kite Runner: B, better than expected.
Life In A Day: A+ Thrilling, WATCH IT!
Exit Through the Gift Shop: A, Baffling.
Conan O’Brian Can’t Stop: B, By turns funny and worrying.
Freakonomics: B Entertaining
Waiting for Superman: C, As mediocre as our Educational System
Movies I watched for the first time, again.
Hello Dolly: A
Pinocchio: B+ Such beautiful art!
The Ghost and the Darkness: B Not as great as I remembered
Still to See this Year:
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Want to Sees from 2011:
Tree of Life*
Midnight in Paris*
Crazy, Stupid, Love
Whinny the Pooh
The Three Musketeers
Updates as of 1/4
The Tree of Life: B-. I admire the scope and it sure was beautiful, but really, dinosaurs?
Midnight in Paris: B. Woody Allen is like Honeybadger. He don’t care. He does what he wants. Except, everyone says they love Woody Allen. This was charming, and surprisingly clean, but I know a hundred Film/English majors that could have written this story, and some of them would have done it better (and several of them probably have), but it would have been passed off as too silly, because they aren’t Woody Allen. Whateves.
Water for Elephants: B-. I, like that one funny/interesting girl from Forks High School (not Bella), can only ever think of Robert Pattenson as The Hair. I did like the circus side of this, but thought the love story was, in the words of my 14 year-old niece, ToatsAwkMo (Totally Awkward Moments)
Sherlock Holms: Game of Shadows. A-. This was a good time. I didn’t find it quite as exciting or entertaining as the first film, though I think the performances and plot were both stronger (See! I’m not a film snob. I appresssiate a fun holiday film). Also my New Year’s resolution is to look a be mistaken more often for Jude Law’s film wife, Kelly Reilly. Can’t you just see it?
Twister: B+ for the resee. It’s solid summer entertainment.
Excited for in 2012
Hunger Games (March)
The Hobbit, p1 (December)
Woman in Black (February)
The Lorax (March)
Life of Pi (December)
Les Miserables (With much trepidation) (December)
The Great Gatsby (December)
Lincoln (December) (Also maybe, Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter ((June))
2013 ENDER’S GAME AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!